• The Monmouth County Park System will present Cutting, Splitting and Hewing on Jan. 8 from noon to 2:30 p.m. at Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel. Get warmed up using a two-man saw and splitting wedge, and learn how farmers used a froe to rive shingles or a broad ax to hew beams. Open to adults. Free. Details: 732-842-4000.
• The Monmouth County Park System will present a Nature Lecture Series: All About Brook Trout – The State Fish of New Jersey on Jan. 20 from 7-8 p.m. at the Freneau Woods Park Visitor Center, Aberdeen Township. A park system naturalist will speak about the history and ecology of brook trout and the issues they face. Free. Details: 732-842-4000.
• The Monmouth County Park System will present National Seed Swap Day on Jan. 28 from 10-11 a.m. at Freneau Woods Park Visitor Center, Aberdeen Township. Bring seeds (at least five) in an envelope labeled with the plant name, year collected and where it was purchased or collected. No invasive species. Seeds can be dropped off in advance at the Huber Woods Environmental Center, Middletown. Free. Details: 732-842-4000.
• The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is inviting New Jersey high school students to create original music with substance use prevention messages as part of the 2023 Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs New Jersey music competition. The competition is open to any type of music genre or any musical style. Entries accepted through March 5. Students interested in sharing their musical talent can submit original music with lyrics about substance use prevention. The finalists’ songs will be showcased in a virtual Prevention Concert on April 26. For competition rules, contact Diane Higgins at 973-275-7985 or email@example.com.
• New Jersey Blood Services, a division of New York Blood Center, is conducting blood drives which are open to the public. The following blood drives are scheduled: Jan. 5, Congregation B’nai Israel, 171 Ridge Road, Rumson, noon to 6 p.m.; Jan. 9, Brotherhood of Temple Shalom, 5 Ayrmont Lane, Aberdeen Township, 12:30-6:30 p.m.; Jan. 17, Lincroft Fire Company, 601 Newman Springs Road, Middletown, 12:30-6:30 p.m.; Jan. 23, North Centerville Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, 372 Middle Road, Hazlet, 1-7 p.m.; Jan. 24, Church of St. Anselm, 1028 Wayside Road, Tinton Falls, 12:30-6:30 p.m.; Jan. 31, Lincroft Bible Church, 790 Newman Springs Road, Middletown, 1-7 p.m. To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive, call 1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org
• Dove Hospice Services of New Jersey is seeking volunteers who are willing to make a difference with individuals who are experiencing the challenge of end-of-life. Volunteers dedicate a small amount of time each month to provide companionship-friendly visits; play cards; sewing, knitting or craft projects; music enrichment; pet therapy; and office or administrative assistance. Dove Hospice Services is also seeking veterans who are interested in providing compassion, support and outreach to fellow veterans and their families. Visits can be made to individuals living in facilities or private homes. Ongoing training is provided. Volunteers must be 18 or older and a COVID vaccine is required. Details: Michelle Rutigliano, 732-405-3035.
Items for the Datebook may be sent to MiddletownSun@newspapermediagroup.com. Please send items at least two weeks prior to a scheduled event.